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Why people don’t want to leave their personal information at the front desk

Data privacy is a hot topic lately, and it’s impacting visitor management and workplace security. With the introduction of data privacy laws like Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), consumers are increasingly vigilant about how their data is being collected and used. And, they’re more reluctant to share it.

But to keep the workplace secure, facility management needs a complete record of who’s entering and leaving the office. Regulations require it—and organizations who don’t keep accurate records of visitors may face non-compliance fines. They may also open themselves up to data breaches, theft, and other workplace security risks.

In this post, we explore the reasons visitors may resist sharing personal information at check-in. We also address how businesses can use a digital visitor management system to put guests at ease while still collecting the information they need to be compliant and keep the office secure.

The reasons behind visitor resistance to share personal info 

There are numerous reasons why visitors may be reluctant to share personal data with your visitor management system.

  • Data privacy is important to them. With so many online apps and services collecting and using our data for marketing and sales purposes, consumers are increasingly suspicious when a company asks them for information. Many are aware of new and emerging data privacy legislation and feel strongly about keeping their data private. 
  • They think it’s unnecessary. Some don’t see the need to share personal information with a business. This is especially true if they’re just there to meet a friend for lunch or if they visit the office regularly. 
  • They’re worried that you’ll resell their data. Some companies sell data to third parties for profit, which can result in unwanted cold calls and unsolicited offers. 
  • It makes them feel like they did something wrong. Workplace security procedures such as strict access control or biometrics without attention to the visitor experience can seem intrusive. Requesting a lot of personal information upon check-in on top of those procedures can be off-putting if a visitor isn’t expecting it. The way in which your front-desk staff asks for information can also affect the visitor experience.

Envoy helps Box strengthen its workplace security

A great workplace experience for your visitors can help ease concerns

Despite the risk of making visitors feel uncomfortable, you still need to follow proper procedures to keep your office workplace security operating smoothly. Here are three actionable steps you can take to make the workplace experience better for your guests: 

  1. Make check-in digital and self-directed. Traditional pen-and-paper sign-in logs can be easily damaged or lost, leaving a company with no visitor record. What’s more, front-desk staff may accidentally leave paper logs sitting around in plain sight, making it easy for anyone to read them. For these reasons, hand-written visitor logs can make guests wary of writing down personal information. In comparison to a pen-and-paper sign-in method, a digital visitor management system improves workplace security while protecting visitors’ identities. Once the visitor enters their information, the system resets to the login screen, and all information is stored securely in the cloud. Many solutions offer self-directed check-in so visitors can quickly enter their information. This puts visitors in control of entering their personal data, which may make them feel less hesitant to provide it. 
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  2. Make non-essential fields optional. Robust visitor management systems enable you to customize sign-in forms to remove non-essential fields. That way you can still collect the information required by your company policies without making visitors feel like they have to provide too much personal data. This helps ease their concerns about the check-in experience, and they’re less likely to refuse to follow your check-in procedure. 
  3. Clearly communicate privacy policies. When it comes to data privacy, communication and transparency are key. Present a digital version of your policy within your visitor management system and require that guests acknowledge reading it as part of the check-in process. Train front-desk staff and facilities management on how to explain your security and privacy policies, and answer any questions or objections visitors may have.

If visitors still want to opt out, here’s what to do

Even though you provide a secure, digital check-in process and clearly explain your privacy policies, some visitors may still opt out of providing personal information of any kind. This, of course, is their right, but you must take steps to protect your business.

First, consult your company’s legal team to make sure your privacy policy’s opt-in and opt-out language is as clear as possible. If a visitor chooses to opt out of providing any personal information, have in place a process for signing in another way. Consider providing the option to make the visitor data anonymous. 

Protect your business with better workplace security and visitor management

Guest check-in is a vital part of the workplace experience and it’s important to get it right. A visitor management system can help you create a welcoming first impression by streamlining and simplifying the check-in process––while enabling you to enforce policies and procedures that protect your business. 

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